2014? When Did That Happen?

Remember some time ago when I talked about how I needed a marker for when one year passed to the next?

The last hours of 2013 were marked by sitting on the sofa with Karen after our daughter was in bed, watching a movie that we have seen numerous times (the fact that it was one of the original Bourne films, it occurs to me, is perhaps ironic considering I reviewed the latest film in the series soon after New Year’s Day in 2013), and allowing maintenance staff for our apartment building in and out in order to coordinate some sort of repair involving a sink and backed-up water in the apartment below us.

I realized that it was 2014 as some fireworks went off outside (New Hampshire is apparently really, really into fireworks). Then I went back to reading as the movie concluded. And, that was pretty much it. No ball dropping, Karen had gone to bed already, no family, no celebrating. Me, a movie, and a good book.

So…I’m old, I guess.

Or, maybe just tired. The thing is, I’m sort of sad that I didn’t really mark the passing of one year to the next, because there’s much to be said for the observance of new beginnings, if for no other reason than the power of hope and possibility. I’m certainly the poorer for not marking that somehow this year. I think that much of the reason is because Karen and I are still settling back into life after an insanely chaotic year of being a full-time student, followed by a career shift that has taken every spare second of my time, it seems, for the eight months following school. The proverbial dust is settling now, however, and I’m already making strides toward the new year. How do I know? I bought a book today, and I read this evening. I haven’t had time to sit down with a novel in…well, I don’t want to contemplate how long it’s been, and I was beginning to come a little unglued over it. I feel as though I’ve become re-acquainted with an old friend. I also see writing time in my future…like actual writing time to finish the novel that I began before our daughter was born and that I’ve put on hold for a year now.

All of these things together would, I’m sure, mark some sort of progress in the goals that I wrote about last year. I’ll let you go back and look at those and make that judgement if you feel so inclined. I’m going to just roll with things this year, as it’s been disconnected anyway. I know, however, that 2014 is going to bring great things.

I know it.

May your endeavors meet with success and your life be blessed in the 364 days ahead.

And next year, I’m going to be more intentional about this.

Waking to the New Year

Last night, with a quiet dinner, family, and a glass of wine, Karen and I relaxed as children played around us and the countdown to 2013 went on. The children were in bed by 9:00, the adults were soon in front of a movie (review to come…) and someone in the house was streaming some ball-dropping-coverage from Times Square. I made it a point to at least stay up to see that, because, as I determined last year, I needed some sort of marker in order to recognize the passing of one year into the next.

Of course, by 12:15, I was sound asleep. As I’ve said before…ah, parenthood.

Last year around this time, I put up a post about my goals for 2012. I’ve made some progress on most, less on some than others. In order to keep myself in check, here are my various states of progress:

1. I am in the process of changing careers for my day job. This was partly a need for a more creative outlet, and partly the need to be in a better position to meet family obligations. I’m attending an arts school for a quick technology certification that will be finished in May, at which point I will making a living in the world of the web and all of that snazzy code-writing that happens in the background. To that end, I’ll probably be brushing up some visual aesthetics around here, and I’ll be launching a page that will direct to all of my various adventures soon, and that will ultimately be my official author site when I finish this novel.

2. Speaking of the novel. I had a spurt of progress just as winter set in, during which I completed all but the most final section. That final section lives in outline form, so that all I have to do now is actually write it, which will bring me to the completion of my rough draft. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been working on Part II for a year now, and the entire project for over two, but it’s been a learning process as I’ve never written anything this long before, and I’m discovering just how much work goes into it.

3. I haven’t read nearly as much as I like, mostly because I’m a full-time student again, and so my reading is reading for class, not so much for pleasure. My two-books monthly rhythm has digressed into one novel per semester at my current rate, but, as I said, I’ll be finished in May. Until then, my to-read list keeps piling higher with each visit to Barnes & Noble.

4. Time for family has become a priority in that it’s such a precious commodity right now. That’s kept me from doing other things, but it’s been worth it. Comparing photos of our daughter from a year ago to where she is now takes my breath and makes my mind reel in disbelief at times.

Oh, and we moved to New England. I’m finding myself sorely in need of better gear in order to deal with these winters, but it’s a nice cultural change.

So, what does 2013 hold? The career change, firstly. I’m also determined to complete this novel and at least make serious editing progress to get it into the hands of beta-readers this year. Also, there are some side projects that have presented themselves to my word-smithing brain, and I’m hoping to dive into those, as well.

I wish you, my faithful readers, the best success and the most happiness in 2013. Let’s go on some adventures together…